Castlemont Elementary School

District News

Updated Tue, Jun 6th

Dear families and staff:

As we approach the end of the 2022-23 school year, I want to reflect on our achievements and express how grateful we are for the dedication shown by our school community.

Together, we made a difference. With support from families and partners, we advocated for safer streets, brought back school events and activities we missed during COVID, and ensured uninterrupted learning despite challenges of storms and power outages.

We witnessed growth in reading and math achievement, expanded art, music, and innovation instruction, celebrated award winners, and bid farewell to retiring staff.

five pillars for successLooking ahead, our commitment to improvement continues. We are learners, collaborators, and community builders focused on safe schools and high-quality education. We aim to close learning gaps, promote equity, improve communication, and foster positive school climates.

While more work awaits, we're excited about the upcoming school year. Our intentional steps and data-driven decisions are showing progress. Together with families and the community, we will build upon our successes by focusing on our five pillars for success.

Thank you for your support. Wishing you a restful summer, and I look forward to another productive year.

Updated Tue, Jun 6th

Please note that Gaggle, one of our district’s online student safety management systems, will not be active from June 10 through August 15.

During this time, student-generated documents will not be reviewed by district staff. Parents and guardians may wish to ramp up supervision of their children’s use of online interactions.

Gaggle reviews student-generated documents for words and phrases that trigger a concern for student safety. For those students retaining district-owned Chromebooks during the summer, will still have web filtering in place to protect students from accessing harmful or malicious websites.

A Word About Wellness

Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media and Youth Mental Health highlights the potential harm social media can have on young people's mental health.  The May 23 report mentions exposure to violent, sexual, bullying, and harassing content, as well as the negative impact on sleep and in-person interactions. The advisory suggests that parents and caregivers can take steps to protect their children, such as establishing tech-free zones, foster in-person relationships, teaching responsible online behavior, modeling good behavior, and reporting problematic content and activity.

Tips for Family Supervision and Parental Control
father and son looking at laptop
The nonprofit Common Sense Media offers a multitude of resources and information to help families navigate the benefits and pitfalls of screen time and social media use. Parents and caregivers may find the following articles helpful.

We encourage parents and guardians to stay vigilant and actively supervise their children's online activities, especially during the period when Gaggle is inactive. By fostering responsible digital behavior and maintaining open communication, families can help ensure a safe and healthy online experience for their children.

Updated Wed, May 31st

The district’s Preschool Department is offering Kinder Readiness Summer Care for children who will be Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten students in the upcoming 2023-2024 school year. 

The program begins July 3, 2023 and ends August 10, 2023. 

If you are interested in enrolling your child, please visit this link to view options and learn more about the program: 2023 Kinder Readiness Summer Care

We look forward to partnering with you in helping your children learn, grow, and thrive this summer!

Save the Date! Two TK/K Readiness Resource Fairs this summer. 

  • June 28, 2023, 4-7pm, at Castlemont School, 3040 E Payne Ave, Campbell
  • August 3, location and time TBA

Check our district calendar for updates.

Updated Wed, May 31st

In partnership with the First Partner’s Office and the Natural Resources Agency, the California State Park Adventure Pass provides free entry for fourth graders and their families at 19 amazing state parks throughout the state. Mountains, deserts, forests, rivers… the choice of where to visit is yours.  

Enjoy all sorts of adventures at 19 state parks this summer. This Pass is valid during the child's a 4th grader or 4th grade equivalent, and expires August 31. For full terms and conditions, click here.

To sign up, go to ReserveCalifornia.com or call (800) 444-7275. 

Updated Wed, May 31st

Sometimes, a change in one part of a system leads to changes in other parts. As two of our current school principals retire in June, the vacancies opened opportunities for others. Because of this, several of our schools will experience a change in leadership. 

Also, as school principals’ responsibilities have expanded over the years, we have added part-time assistant principals to two of our elementary schools. They will spend the other half of their time supporting programs for students with additional learning needs.

Blackford: Current Principal Anne Ajlouni is retiring. Blackford’s new principal in 2023-24 will be Veronica Valencia. She has worked in our district for 16 years as a teacher and site administrator, most recently as Assistant Principal at Monroe Middle School.

Campbell School of Innovation: Principal Kami Thordarson is retiring. Xyzzy Godfrey, currently the principal of Village School. An employee of CUSD for 16 years, she has been a teacher and site administrator, and will join Assistant Principal Stephanie Day in furthering the CSI mission. 

Capri: The new school year will bring a new part-time Assistant Principal: Lisa Wiseman. She has worked in our district for 15 years as a teacher and district-level Teacher on Special Assignment.

Village: The new principal for our parent participation school will be Alicia Mommer. Principal Mommer brings a unique combination of administrative experience in both public schools and the nonprofit sector, as well as extensive experience as a classroom teacher at a parent participation school.

Monroe Middle: Current Marshall Lane Principal Patrick Sieler, who has extensive experience as a middle school teacher and administrator, will be moving to Monroe Middle School, working as co-administrator with Principal Ruth Stephens Radle.

Marshall Lane: Marshall Lane’s new Principal for 2023-24 will be Amy Vanderbosch, current assistant principal at Rolling Hills. She will be joined by new Assistant Principal Michelle Beddo for 50% of her time.  She has worked in our district for 19 years, first as a teacher, and currently as Administrator of Accountability & Learning

Rolling Hills Middle: The district has begun the hiring process for a new assistant principal for Rolling Hills. When the new administrator has been hired, we will notify Rolling Hills staff and families.

In the words of Socrates, "the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."  We are confident in these new leadership teams and hope you will join us in welcoming them.

Updated 18 hours 13 min ago

The Campbell Union School District Governing Board will hold a public hearing on Thu., June 1, 2023, at 6:30pm, at 155 N. 3rd Street, in Campbell CA.

PUBLIC HEARING TOPIC: 

Proposed Budget and Local Control and Accountability Plan for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 

Budget Overview for Parents and Proposed 2023-2024 Budget for Campbell Union School District 

Public Hearing 

Public comments are invited. A copy of the Proposed Budget and Local Control and Accountability Plan for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 will be available for public review at https://www.campbellusd.org/lcap, https://www.campbellusd.org/budget and at the Campbell Union School District Office 155 N. Third Street, Campbell during the hours of 8:00am – 4:30pm from May 23 – June 1, 2023. 

Si le gustaría ver nuestro Plan de LCAP en español, por favor contacte a Nairovy Aguilar - naguilar [at] campbellusd.org. 

Updated Tue, Jun 6th

“The Innovation Grant program encourages students to take ownership of their education and school experience,” said District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.

Through the grant program, 10 student teams are using the design-thinking process to generate, test and implement ideas for two areas identified in our student survey data as needs: campus cleanliness and building a sense of belonging at their schools. 

“When we provide students with real-world challenges, they see the connections to what they learn in school and recognize they have the ability to make a difference in their everyday lives,” Viramontez added. 

Here are stories of progress at two schools.

Capri School: Using the idea of prevention, not punishment, the Capri Innovation Team set about promoting positive behavior focused on three challenges: campus cleanliness, maintaining play equipment, and reducing conflicts at recess..  

“Our student leadership team has taken the initiative to build community across grade levels through PE Buddies, Recess Buddies, Leadership Club, Design Challenges, and Teacher Green Team (campus clean-up),” said Gloria McGriff. “The students create, collaborate, communicate, and are empathetic.”

The Green Team is a group of students who choose to check out buckets, gloves and “garbage grabbers” to collect litter. “Before, the Green Team was being used for consequences instead of a fun activity to do,” said student Saveh. “We changed it so students and classes that participate earn rewards like a popsicle party, or extra STEAM Lab time.”

The PE Leaders are trained 4th and 5th grade students who join the students in grades K-2 at recess to lead games, resolve conflicts, and reinforce positive behavior among the younger students. The Innovation Grant helped to pay for training student leaders in conflict resolution with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and in the use and care of STEAM Lab and playground equipment.

The students and staff are noticing the difference. The office is seeing fewer students being sent there for making poor choices, and students are more aware of how individual behaviors, like not playing fair or not returning equipment, impact others at the school. 

Monroe Middle School: “The challenge was to try to find a way to communicate with people who don’t speak English so they can learn better and feel welcome,” said Gabriel, one of Monroe's Innovation Team members. The team’s solution: Newcomer Ambassadors. 

Schools across the U.S. have experienced increasing numbers of students arriving from other countries, such as Ukraine and Afghanistan, who have little or no English skills. The Ambassadors help the new students access translation applications on a school iPad.  

“It helps our students continue to be successful in school, by accessing content-specific material in their home language,” said Teacher Cheryl Lee. The project does more than assist students with their studies. It also builds a sense of belonging as communication between all peers increases. “It also helps students know that they can help themselves,” said student Mobasher.

We will know that this project is successful by analyzing student work production and engagement along with student surveys & interviews.

Updated Wed, May 31st

Our teachers are committed to ensuring that every student becomes a proficient reader. Parents can help by encouraging your child to read every day–even when schools close for summer. In-person or online access is easier for all CUSD students, because the Campbell public library accounts they have during the school year are good even while schools are closed for summer break. 

Following is information about Santa Clara County’s public library summer programs.

SCCLD’s Summer Reading Program Find Your Voice

Our voices have power. We use our voices to share stories, express ourselves, and spark change. Our voices include not only the sounds we make, but the words we write, the art we create, the movements we perform, and the actions we take each day to impact our world.

 Join us for an exciting array of programs for children, teens, and adults. Read a book and find your voice this summer with SCCLD!  All are invited to join June 1st through July 31stIt’s free and fun for all ages!

How to Join

  • It’s easy to get started. Beginning June 1st, sign up (or log in) online on Beanstack (link to pre-register will be available May 1st), or print a reading log.  You can also download the Beanstack app for your mobile device.
  • Earn badges by reading and completing activities. This year, SCCLD’s Summer Reading Program runs June 1st through July 31st.

Look forward to:

  • Programs for kids, teens, and adults including performers, book clubs, and more!
  • Earn badges throughout the summer in Beanstack by logging your reading and activities.

Earn a prize* for reading 5 books and completing one activity this summer!

*Completion prizes will be available starting August 1st while supplies last.

Updated Tue, May 23rd

Our survey data showed that parents and students want more art and hands-on learning in schools. Teachers want more time for planning and collaboration to bring effective and engaging instruction to students.

We heard you, and launched the Arts & Innovation Collaboration pilot program this year at two schools, Blackford and Rosemary, then expanded it to some grade levels at Lynhaven. Our team of talented Innovation Specialists facilitate engaging innovation and art experiences with students, giving classroom teachers time during the school day to collaborate as professional learning communities. 

Positive Feedback

Teachers at both Blackford and Rosemary report that the ongoing collaboration time has been crucial for planning next steps for targeted instruction to support students’  learning. According to the survey provided to participating teachers, "It has given us time and a structure to really dig into our data so we can make strategic instructional choices that will move students forward.”

“We are building ongoing access to innovation and the arts for and with our community,” said Coordinator of Innovation, Teaching, and Learning Julie Goo. 

woman works with two boys creating things with tape and cardboardFamilies worked together at the Innovation Showcase.

Two Innovation Showcases in April highlighted the work at the two elementary schools. Students and parents were happily problem solving and discovering solutions to such challenges as coding mini robots to travel a path, building prototypes with raw materials,  making freehand digital art, collaborating with Minecraft, and more. Displays of student work included their reflections about what they learned in the process.

“Innovation is one of our Profile of a Graduate competencies, and we focus on tapping into students’ natural curiosity and desire to learn,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Their future workplaces will demand our competency skills of self direction, critical thinking, collaboration, empathy and innovation, and this is part of  preparing  them for success now and in their future.”

Plans to Expand

With the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our two-school pilot this year, we are planning to expand our Innovation Specialist team to bring the program to more schools. We are building teams to provide experiences of arts, innovation and music. We are planning  to provide these experiences for K - 5 students and through lunch clubs for our 6-8 grade students.

Learn more about what students have been up to in the Innovation program this year on the Innovation Blog

Updated Wed, May 17th

Calendars list many different appreciation dates for many different people and professions. In an effort to acknowledge all of our employees, our district recognizes them together during one special week. We know that it takes all of us working together to safely educate students to their highest potential.

While we encourage you to acknowledge groups during their designated days, we invite you to join us during Employee Appreciation Week, May 22-26, 2023, to recognize and acknowledge the many people in our district who work hard every day to make your child’s school a great place to learn and a great place to work.